« PreviousContinue »
“ Letter to Captain Campbell, British Envoy, Tabreez."
Birjant, Oct. 30, 1831. “Dear Sir,—Haji Muhammed, of Herat, behaved very badly on the road; he took from me the last penny I had, so that I was obliged to go to Birjant to draw the 100 tomaums. After I had already left Birjant, Assad Ullah Khan sent two men after us to Sirjah, to stop me and my servants, under the pretext that I had run away from Abbas Mirza with 12,000 tomaums. I returned here, and am now kept in the caravanserai. I have openly declared myself an Englishman and ambassador of Christ, which has saved me from being put in chains. Abd Resa Khan is here, who escaped from Yazd. I am now too much in confusion to write more, for the business is not yet settled. “ Yours truly,
Second Letter to Captain Campbell.
Birjant, in Khorassan, Nov. 1, 1831. “Dear Sir,-On the 29th October I was summoned to appear before Assad Ullah Khan. I took my Bible with me. I met there Abd Resa Khan of Yazd, a great many Mullahs, and other people of Birjant. The room was crowded. Mullah Muhammed Jawad, who travelled with Mr. Morecroft from Kashmeer to Bokhara, was there too. I was received very politely, and asked to sit down near Assad Ullah Khan. He asked, “What is your business ?'-Myself (lifting up my Bible). This is my business; the proclamation of the Bible and the Gospel among the Jews, and to converse with natives of all denominations about God.'
Assad Ullah Khan. With what denominations have you conversed ?'-Myself. With the Muhammedan Mullahs of Sheeraz, Ispahan, Teheran, &c , with Yeseedes, Guebres, Jews, &c.'
“ Abd Resa Khan. Are the Guebres, Jews, Yeseedes, or Ali Ilahe, in the right? - Answer. 'No.'
“ Abd Resa Khan. 'Now say the truth: Are we in the right way?' -Myself. “I only consider those to be in the right way who believe in the Bible and Gospel only.'
“ Assad. Ullah Khan. “Why do you not believe in Muhammed ?'Myself. 'According to the Bible and the Gospel, Jesus is the last whom we had to receive.'
“Assud Ullah Khan. “Is he not predicted in your books ?'-Myself. "He is predicted as a chastiser of the fallen church, but not as a prophet.'
“ Abd Resa Khan. “Read some portion of the Gospel and the Bible (Anjeel and Tourat). -I read Matt. v. and translated it, and Exod. xv. and translated it, to Assad Ullah Khan, Abd Resa Khan, and to the whole congregation of Muhammedans.
“ Abd Resa Khan desired me to write to him Matt. v. in Persian. I shall do it, and give him a Persian Gospel and Psalter. . Assad Ullah Khan promised to me his protection, and to send me safely to Meshed in three days hence. As I have now no time to write fully to Lady Georgiana, I beg you to send to her copies of the two
letters I have written to you from Birjant. Assad Ullah Khan knows Sir John Malcolm, Sir Henry Willock, and Hakeem Saheb. “ I am, dear Sir, yours truly,
Note from Captain Campbell to Lady Georgiana Wolff, Feb. 16, 1832.
“Captain Campbell has the pleasure to inform Lady Georgiana Wolff that he has opened this packet to inform her of the safe arrival of Mr. Wolff at Meshed, where he awaits the breaking up of the winter to proceed on his journey. This intelligence has just arrived."
“ Birjant. “Oct. 30.-My servant, Muhammed Hassim, has hitherto proved himself to be the most useful and courageous servant I ever had. He told me to-day the following interesting story of his Prophet. A poor man came before his lordship the Prophet, and said, 'From morning till night I am in bitterness; I cannot gain so much as to procure bread. The prophet said, 'Perhaps you do not perform prayer?'- Beggar. 'Five times a-day I perform prayer to you.'
“ Muhammed. “Perhaps you do not keep the fast ?'— Beggar. 'I fast every year three months.'
“ Muhammed. “What is your trade ?'-Beggar. 'I am a stonecutter.'
“Muhammed. “What was the trade of your father?'-Beggar. 'He was a thief.
Muhammed. Go and steal.'- Beggar. "Then men shall take and kill me.'
“ Muhammed. Steal with equity.'-Beggar. 'I am afraid they will kill me.' “ Muhammed. “You must practise the trade of your
father.' - The beggar went at night to steal in the house of a merchant; he saw ten purses of
every purse containing 100 tomaums; he wanted to take all the money, but he said to himself, “The Prophet said, with equity steal :' he left 500 tomaums, and took 500. He arrived at the gate with it, and said, “This is without equity, for the owner has troubled himself much until he has gained this money ;' he took 200 tomaums, and brought back 300. He went with it to the gate, and said, “This is without equity; 100 tomaums is only necessary for me;' he brought back 100, and kept 100 tomaums. He went to leave the house; he heard a crier upon
mosque; he said to himself, ' Prayer is better than money. He left the money, and went on the terrace of the house of the owner of the money and performed prayer with a loud voice. The owner of the house awoke, he saw a crier upon the terrace of his house, he went up stairs, he saw a man performing his prayer, he asked him, 'Who art thou ?' he replied, 'I am a thief.' He said, “Thou art not a thief ;' he replied, 'By God I am a thief.' The owner said, “Why hast thou not taken the whole money? how many years did thou steal ?' He told him his history. The owner of the money gave to him his daughter as a wife, and his property.
Distance from Teheran to Birjant.
5 Tekho to Hafrees
6 Hafrees to a desert-place 10 Desert-place to Birjant. 10
1811 “An old man sold sour milk, with which every day he gained two shag (which is less than a halfpenny), by going with it to the market-place in a city, with which he bought bread for his wife and
One day he brought the milk to a desolate village, and leaving it for a minute a serpent came and drank it, and put one tomaum (the value of fifteen shillings) in the pit. The old man observed it, took the tomaum, and went his way; thus it happened to him every day upon that spot until he became a man of property. When the hour of his death came, he said to his son, 'Carry milk every day upon that spot, you will thus gain every day one tomaum.' The old man died. The son gained every day one tomaum by going to that place with milk ; but one day the son said to himself, “This serpent has much money; I will kill her, and take the whole treasure at once.' He went and cast a stone upon the serpent's head, which wounded her. The serpent said to the son, 'Do not come here again. Thy father was an old man; he brought milk here, and I left one tomaum for it: thy father died, and I gave it to thee by God's command. As you are now become covetous, and wanted to kill me, now I kill thee.' She did bite him, and he died.
“Be not covetous, for by covetousness thou losest thy benefactor.
“ Nov. 1.-Haji Muhammed Jawad, the son of Mullah Muhammed Ali, called on me; he is thirty-eight years of age. Twenty years ago he went to Meshed, Herat, Maimona, Antakhoot, Akhje, and Balkh, inhabited by Usbek; from thence he passed the Gihoon, and went to Karshee, thence to Bokhara, Samarcand, Orappe, Khoran, Kashear, Yarcand, Jla Akhsoo, Turban, Xeifan, Joofoo, Jarcand, where he found Ameer Assaad Ullah Khan, of Jahsanabad, a man of Mr. Moorcroft's, who was put in prison. Jawad delivered him. He went from thence to Ladakh in Thibet, where he met Moorcroft; when he was sent by Moorcroft to Kashmeer, and there remained with him a year and a half, then he went with Mr. Moorcroft to Atah, Peshawar, Cabul, Kontos, where Muhammed Murad Bey resides, king of Badaghshan, Balkh, and Bokhara; thence he went to Birjant and Mecca. I met him at Birjant, where he invited me to his house. At Bokhara is now Muhammed Toora Khan; at Balkh is Islaan Kheja Emeer, Haidare, under the king of Bokhara; at Organj and Khewa is Toora Khan, the son of Rakem Khan. Khorassan takes its name from one of the descendants of Japhet. Reso Koole Khan is the greatest here. Balkh was built by à son of Japhet; it was formerly called Balaha. Famous Soffees among the Mussulmans in Turkistan, Sheikh Sanaan, Sheikh Attard,
Sheikh Abul Hassan, Khori Rane, Bazazid Bustame. Soffees at Bokhara are Khoja Shanias, at Muimona. Khalifa Naamet Ali was killed by Ibn Maljam Murdee at Koofa. Nadir Shah was killed at Abiward by Saleh Khan, Shakakee, and Muh Hussein Khan, Curd, and Khorassan shouted.
“ Nov. 2.-Assad Ullah Khan and Abd Resa Khan, to whom I had presented Bibles, sent to me to point out to them the passages about Christ's coming, and the appearance of Dijaal—i.e. Antichrist. Bijant, the builder of Birjant, was the son of Afrasiab.
“Nov. 3.–We left Birjant and arrived at Shooshat, belonging to Assad Ullah Khan, forty English miles from Birjant.
“ Nov. 4.-We arrived at Muhammed Abad, seven farsangs from Shooshat. An old man of Muhammed Abad called on me, and desired me to get his son ransomed from slavery at Ankhoo. The name of the old man is Imauh Baksh Araf; his son, who is prisoner, is called Ali Kassim at Ankhoo, in the hands of Dustpas Musaders in the Muhalle Kaakel. Ali Hassan Servishekee, a man of Assad Ullah Khan, accompanies us. To-day we learn that wandering Turcomans are in the neighbourhood, who have made twelve slaves and taken a hundred camels.
“Nov. 5.—We arrived at Nogas, seven farsangs from Muhammed Abad; we saw in the distance wandering Turcomans with their slaves.
“ Nov. 6.-We arrived at Monabatsh, six farsangs from the former place. On the road to this place, we met with poor peasants in the field, with their wives and children, escaped from their houses on account of the Turcomans who are now wandering about in this country. They believed us at first to be Turcomans, and a horrid scream from the children followed; but we soon quieted them. O Lord Jesus Christ, reach soon the face of the earth, that men need no longer be afraid of men.
“At the south of Birjant is Shahr Lot, the city of Lot, believed to be the overturned city of Sodom. In this country are a good many Iliud, called also Arabs, who live in tents in the summer.
“ Nov. 7.-We slept in the village called Senno, seven farsangs.
“ Nov. 8.—We arrived at Morandir, ten farsangs; they wanted me there to sleep in a mosque, but I declined, as it might have brought me after this into difficulties.
“ Nov. 9.–We left this place and went the same road, where the Turcomans the day before made 1500 prisoners: we observed their footsteps, and a horse of theirs which was killed in battle. We arrived, after ten farsangs ride, at Turshish. Muhammed Take Khan gave us lodging in his house. Haji Haga is the chief man of the Khan. I called on and had a long conversation with the rest about clean (pax) and unclean (nijis). He said, the Armenians were cleaner than the Jew or the Guebre. I called on Take Khan.
“ Nov. 10.--We arrived at Aliabad, five farsangs from Turshish : it has a large tower of Beni Abbas.
“ Nov. 11.–We slept in the house of a kind Mussulman in the village called Roosh Naball, seven farsangs.
Nov. 12.—We continued our journey towards Neshapoor, and arrived at Sangud. We stopped there only for a few moments; and having heard that the famous Serdar Muhammed Khan of Torbad are wandering about in the neighbourhood, for the purpose of making slaves, we joined a caravan of ass drivers and a horseman of Nishapore, when suddenly we saw from a distance a swarm of horsemen with arms of this figure I was already a good distance advanced before the caravan, and I might have escaped easily; but I thought it not right to leave Hassein alone in the hands of the robbers, and returned. One of the robbers took hold of my horse, whilst the rest bound the others of the caravan. The robber who took hold of my horse said, ' Have you no money? Give it quickly, before the rest of my companions observe it.' I gave to him all I had in my pocket; but I had scarcely given to him my money, when I was surrounded by the rest—they were twenty-four in number—who beat that robber for having tried to conceal the money he had taken from me. They asked me, ‘Have you no more money?' I said, “Yes; in my case you find money.' I was then stripped of all my clothes, and a lousy rag put round me. They brought us all out of the high road, where I met with my poor Hassein weeping and crying, and bound at the horse of one of the robbers. It was an awful sight to see twenty-four robbers beating and cursing themselves, and disputing whose property we should be? We rode with them the greatest part of the night. At midnight Turcomans were observed in the distance, which frightened our robbers, who were Curds; for the Turcomans, if they had observed us, would have taken us out of their hands and brought us to Bokhara. Only three persons of the caravan escaped. It is remarkable, that whilst all the rest were bound and beaten, they did not touch me.
“The next morning, Nov. 13, they counted the money, opened the cases of the caravan, filled with oranges and dates, destined as a present from the Khan of Tabas for Abbas Meerza, who is now with his army at Meshed; they ate the fruits, and burnt the cases. I asked Hassan Khan, their chief, 'Are you not afraid of the day of judgment ?' He said, “We have renounced happiness in this world and the next.' They examined again our bodies, whether no money was concealed : those who had concealed some were beaten. They determined then to kill me, as I was an Englishman, which frightened them, that Abbas Mirza might demand me from the Serdar of Torbad, but the Lord did not permit it.
“ Nov. 15.-We arrived in a village belonging to Emeer Khan, of the Kerahe tribe; he treated me kindly, though a friend of the robbers : he desired Hassan Khan to give him one of my Persian Testaments, which he did. An Englishman was never seen hereabout. In the evening we arrived at Arkshee; here I was put in chains for the first time, but soon released again of the irons by a pitying robber.
“ Nov. 16.-We arrived in another village. “ Nov. 17.-We arrived at Torbad, 120 English miles from the